Seeking Native American Great Grandmother

I keep running into a dead-end using when trying to locate information about my Great's what I know:

  • My dad was raised by his mom & step-dad...he never knew his real father
  • My dad's real father was born in 1920 and died in Nacogdoches, TX in 1993.  Various records have conflicting information about his birth...census records and social security records show he was born in either CA, AR or MO
  • Some census records show my dad's father listed as "adopted son," whereas others just say "son"
  • When my dad was young (7 - 8 years old) his mom took him to a reservation in OK so he could meet his grandmother (his real dad's mom) - they spent a couple days there, but that was the only time he ever met his real grandma
  • My dad is now older and his memory lacks...he can't recall the name of his real grandma, or even what Nation she was (Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, etc.)
  • My dad's grandma, the one I'm trying to track down (my great grandma) would have been one of at least 5 wives to my dad's grandpa
  • I know the name of my dad's grandpa (the one who was married at least 5 times) and he was supposedly a Justice of the Peace in St. Louis, MO, although I cannot find any information to confirm this

In the end, I'm unable to verify the following information:

  1. The birth record for my dad's real father (including place of birth and name of mother)
  2. The name of my dad's grandma

And, without having the information listed in the two bullets above, I'm unable to research my great grandma's heritage, nation / tribe, what reservation she lived on, etc.

  • Dear Mr. Brandt,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940 in the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75). Many BIA agents or superintendents submitted these rolls to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and include name, gender, age, birth date, agency, marital status, tribe, and family relations. These rolls are also indexed and available online at Ancestry and Fold3. However, prior to digitization, these records were only available via National Archives Publication M595. Please use NARA’s online Microfilm Catalog to learn which NARA units have copies of this microfilm publication. Take a look at our webpages for more information on the Indian Census Rolls


    The State of Missouri’s Bureau of Vital Records has certificates of births dated from 1910 to the present via its Birth and Death Records Database. They recommend that you just enter the last name but you also may search by using all or part of a name. Information in this database includes name of child, date and place of birth, sex, and race; nationality, residence, and ages of parents, occupation and full name of father, maiden name of mother, name and address of medical or other attendant making return; in case of stillbirth, name of undertaker and place of burial.


    We suggest that you also search for “Justice of the Peace” related information about your great grandfather among the historical newspapers of the St. Louis Dispatch.


    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


    [Some information provided by Cody White, Subject Matter Expert, & Meg Hecker]